How to prescreen applicants using background checks  

businessOne of the biggest expenses for businesses is the hiring process including finding, hiring and training new employees. Therefore, hiring should be made with careful thought time and consideration. This where prescreening applicants through a thorough background check is essential. A background check is the checking and authenticating all the information the applicant provided on a resume, during an interview, and on an application. This seems like a time-consuming, daunting task especially for a small business without a Human Resources department. Whether your business is small with only a few employees, or very big with hundreds on the payroll, background checks can make a big difference in the quality of the employee and the longevity of that employee with the company.

Background checks protect you legally, too. If an applicant is hired and in the future you find that their credentials are false they have a criminal record not reported, you have their signature stating the information they provided was true, so you have cause to fire them. It is important to note the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was established to protect the rights of job applicants, so make sure you have the applicant’s consent and signature before starting any background checking.

Here are some ways that employees prescreen applicants using background checks.

  1. Criminal Background Checks: Most companies will require a criminal background check for convictions. If children are involved in the position, a child abuse background check may also be required.
  2. Credentials Verification: Most companies will check with the educational institutions and universities to verify the employee actually attended and graduated with the degrees and credentials provided. It’s important to note that if there is a name change through marriage or other life event, the former name should be provided.
  3. Employment Verification: Most companies will contact prior employers the applicant provided on the resume and application to verify an applicant actually worked their in the position provided. This could include the position held, salary range, longevity, performance. Although there are restrictions of what Human Resources representatives are allowed to disclose, they may volunteer additional information that could be helpful in making the decision whether or notto hire the applicant.
  4. Credit Checks: If a position requires confidential financial information or access to high level financial document or handling money, a company may process a credit check on the applicant. Reviewing how an applicant handles personal finances could play a part in the hiring decision process.
  5. Drug Tests: Some positions require drug and alcohol screenings. More and more industries mandate a drug and alcohol free workplace. Screenings are required for a variety of reasons, but the biggest concern is being under the influence of drugs and alcoholwhile on the job can effect performance and the safety of all employees. Drug abuse also effects the overall health and lifestyle of the employee. Drug and alcohol screening, if policy, must be performed on all employees without discrimination.
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